One year is huge milestone. There’s usually a big party, a face full of cake, lots of pictures, and it’s well deserved. You’ve all come a long way. As you look back at the first year and all of your baby’s “firsts,” it seems like it’s all gone by in a blink. You can hardly remember a time when your baby wasn’t in your life. Life is complete.


  • Car: Use a convertible car seat (rather than an infant car seat) in the back seat of the vehicle, rear-facing.
    • Important Note: As of 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends car seats remain rear-facing until 2 years of age. I know, you’re going to say, “But my child’s legs don’t fit.” The newest studies show that a child is 5 times safer when rear-facing than forward-facing. It is easier to fix a child’s broken leg than a child’s brain injury from a car accident. (Which seat is best? I still like the car seat style with a 5-point harness that allows you to pull the straps tight against the child’s chest–see my recommended products.)
  • Sleep:
    • The crib is the safest place, slats less than 2 3/8 inches apart. Lower the crib mattress to the lowest position. If your child is a monkey and tries to climb out, see HOW TO STOP YOUR BABY FROM CLIMBING OUT OF THE CRIB.
    • It’s ok if your baby rolls over and sleeps on her belly at this stage.
    • Should be sleeping 10+ hours at night and taking 2 naps a day.
  • Childproofing: Get down at the toddler level and see what he or she can reach in your home.
    • Use outlet covers.
    • Place safety gates in front of stairs.
    • Ensure chemicals/medications/cleaners are out of reach or are locked.
    • Store guns with ammunition separate and in a gun safe.
    • Keep toys with small parts and sharp objects out of reach.
  • Water heater: Keep the temperature on your water heater set lower than 120°F (to prevent scalding).
  • Smoking: Keep your home and car completely smoke free.
  • Sun: Limit sun exposure; use sun protective clothing and sunscreen. For tips on sunscreen, see FOR HEAVEN’S SAKES, USE SUNSCREEN
  • Media: Technically, children this age aren’t supposed to be exposed to media (e.g., TV, movies, ipads, phones). There’s a fair amount of scientific literature that talks about the negative effects of too much media at an early age. It’s best to steer clear.


  • Milk: This is the age you finally get to transition off of formula and onto whole milk. The transition can be cold turkey or slowly weaning (mixing part formula and part whole milk) until the child adjusts.
  • Breastfeeding: If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back (I’ve never made it to a full year. I couldn’t take breast feeding and new biting teeth. Ouch!). When to wean is completely up to you at this point. Just don’t breast feed in the middle of the night (it’s bad for baby’s teeth).
  • No more bottles: Now is the time to wean off the bottles. You’ve got a big kid now. Time to move completely to sippy cups.
  • No more baby foods. Move to a diet completely of table foods. There are no more diet limitations (unless your child has known food allergies). Even if you’re child has no teeth, just cut food into small pieces and let her go for it.


  • Walking (or at least cruising along furniture)
  • Standing  independently in a room
  • Has 1-2 words
  • Feeds herself (messy with hands)
  • Waves “bye-bye” (typically around 10 months)

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About The Author

Dr. Monica Wonnacott

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. I've been doing this doctor thing for 10 years, and love it. I'm known for giving parents the straight scoop without always sugar-coating it. And I believe in educating parents. The more you know, the better care you give your kids.

Dr. Monica Wonnacott, Pediatric Answers ™

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. Pediatric AnswersTM is where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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